Saturday, June 06, 2009

Single-Payer and the 'Democracy Deficit'

Americans think that it’s healthcare that produces health, when there really is very little evidence for that. What turns out to be really important is the nature of caring and sharing in society….Where societies are more equal — and economic equality is the thing that is most important in this — people look after each other…and pretty well everyone does better.
How can we mourn the loss of 3,000 on 9/11, yet tolerate a dysfunctional health care system that kills 18,000 uninsured each year plus countless others who were denied needed care simply to protect the obscene wealth of a few CEOs?

As the above-cited PNHP article reveals, the irrationality and waste of the deadly US health care system is underscored by the statistics. In the US 31% of all health care costs goes to the parasitic middle men --- for profit carriers and HMOs. Canada, a single-payer country, devotes just 1.3% to administrative costs. Daniel Wirt, MD reports that the 31% translates to "more than $350 billion per year, provides no health care: it is consumed by enormous administrative costs, profits for investors and shareholders, and large salaries for managers of these for-profit insurance companies."

Americans pay nearly double what people pay for health care in single-payer countries, yet the World Health Organization ranks the US as 37th in the delivery of health care services.

Where opponents of single-payer rail against paying taxes toward a single-payer system, the PNHP reports that our taxes already pay for 60% of health care costs in the US. "Americans pay the highest health care taxes in the world. We pay for national health insurance, but don’t get it."

People in single-payer countries are healthier and live longer than we do. As revealed by Sicko, especially in the segment in which Moore interviews American exiles in Paris, with the stress and weight of America's health care burden removed, they also appear a whole lot happier --- a point which underscores the title of an article written by autoworker Phillip Bannowsky, “Capitalism produces rich bankers, but Socialism produces happiness."

Click here to read it all...

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